After years of growth, craft beer sales hit a wall

Dec. 17, 2013

Restaurant Sciences, an independent firm that tracks food and beverage product sales throughout North America, today reported that the volume sales of on-premise craft beer decreased each of the last three months (September, October and November), and is down by an average of 6 percent versus a year ago.

According to a news release, the decline was widespread as Restaurant Sciences recorded lower volumes for more than half of the 1,000 craft beer families (representing more than 5,700 craft beer brands) that the company tracks in on-premise establishments. Though new craft beers are introduced daily, the number of craft beers sold on-premise has decreased 19 percent versus a year ago.

Craft beer volume was down 13 percent at family dining establishments, 10 percent at white tablecloth restaurants, and 4 percent at casual dining restaurants, bars and nightclubs. More than 70 percent of the craft beer decline was in draft volume sales.

"The weakness in craft beer volume sales could be due to a number of factors. Consumers may be balking at price increases in the 3 to 7 percent range this fall across restaurants, bars and nightclubs," said Chuck Ellis, president and CEO of Restaurant Sciences LLC. "Additionally, restaurants and bars may have reached a saturation point in adding new beers to an already hyper-competitive shelf or tap set."

Read more about trends and statistics.

Topics: Food & Beverage , Trends / Statistics

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